IKEA Not Part of ‘Big Retail Play’
While Mayor Scott Fadness is heralding a new IKEA store as a big win for his community, don’t expect the Swedish furniture maker to be part of a plan to turn Fishers into a retail mecca. “This is not a large retail play for us,” said Fadness, in an interview on this weekend’s edition of Inside Indiana Business Television. "Yes, IKEA attracts additional retailers, but we want to be thoughtful as we grow Fishers.” IKEA’s plans will make the area around 116th Street and I-69 a shopping destination, but Fadness believes it will also help attract and retain talent in Fishers.
"It is accretive to our story to be a smart, vibrant, entrepreneurial city,” said Fadness. This says something about the demographics of your community, where you are aspiring to go.”
The Fishers City Council is scheduled to consider an economic development package for the IKEA project tonight. Fadness says he will present a package that waives business impact fees but does not include Tax Increment Financing or tax abatement.
If necessary approvals are obtained, IKEA says it plans to break ground on the $40 million project in the fall of 2016, with an opening a year later.
The store will cover 296,000 square feet and include approximately 1,000 parking spaces. The retailer says it will have nearly 10,000 exclusively-designed items, 50 room-settings, three model home interiors and a 350-seat restaurant serving Swedish and American dishes. The store would employ about 250 workers.
In a release from IKEA U.S., President Lars Peterson said, "we are excited at the prospect of growing our Midwest presence with an Indianapolis-area store. A location in this retail corridor would provide our already 184,000 Indianapolis-area customers their own store and would introduce the unique IKEA shopping experience to other consumers throughout Indiana."
There are currently 370 IKEA stores in 48 countries, including 41 in the United States. Currently, the closest IKEA stores are in suburban Cincinnati and Chicago.
Purdue University professor of consumer sciences and retailing Richard Feinberg tells Inside Indiana Business IKEA continues to be the most sought after big retailer and will help elevate the Indianapolis region to the top ranks of retailing.
A typical IKEA store attracts consumers from a 200 mile radius and generates about $90 million in revenue annually, according to Feinberg.